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Parshat Kedoshim

Dear STOCS Friend:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” In the words of the famous Rabbi Akiva, this is a great principle found in the Torah. Is this deep level of love for all Jews attainable? How can we identify with all members of Klal Yisroel and shower him or her with love, kindness and sensitivity?

Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene points out this relationship is not based upon pity or compassion. It is a collective unity that was forged at Mount Sinai over 3,300 years ago. 

The Rambam in the Mishne Torah Hilchos Avel 14:1 writes:  

כל הדברים שאתה רוצה שיעשו אותן לך אחרים, עשה אתה אותן לאחיך בתורה ובמצוות

This suggests that whatever you wish others to do for you, you should do for your friend in accordance with the teachings of the Torah and its mitzvot.

Rabbi Akiva in Pirkei Avot, writes: "Beloved is the person, for they were created in God's image."

Showing love to another Jew is akin to showing love and reverence towards Hashem. Humans are created in the likeness of God. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to treat our fellow Jews with meaningful, compassionate conduct that befits the nation that received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

As a sanctified people, it is our duty to uphold respect and honor כבוד towards every Jew. Parshat Kedoshim is about holiness. We need to uphold the holiness bestowed upon us by God at Mount Sinai.

May the Holy Land of Israel be blessed speedily with peace.

I look forward to seeing you in Shul this Shabbas.

Shabbat Shalom.


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